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Tue Nov 18, 2003

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External Link Strategies

Much has been written here and elsewhere about external links to your page. These are links you place on other sites which direct visitors to you. What follows are important points to consider as you find sites to list your site on, and place your links.

  • First, consider the content of the page you are listing on. The best external links will be ones closely related to your key search terms. For our site here at, we search for sites listing web design, web hosting, Flash Communication Server, and web marketing. Other links are acceptable, but will probably not have the same effect as ones closely relating to these key searches that we are after.
  • Second, consider the quality of the sites you are seeking links on. The single most important factor of a sites quality for this purpose is the Google Page Rank. If you don't have the Google Toolbar, you should for this step (the latest version also has some awesome tools, like a site searcher and a pop-up blacker that actually works...Best of all it's free). Once you have installed the toolbar, every page you visit will have it's page rank displayed in the tool bar. The higher the site's Google Page Rank, the more that link will count for you towards your own site's Page Rank.
  • Third, consider the actual link. A flashy banner ad looks nice, but what does it mean to a search engine? Not much. A nice clean text link peppered with your keywords can mean so much more. As an example, site's created by Metasphere used to carry a link that said, "Site Powered by". Catchy right? Well, not to a search engine, unless we're the power company. More recent brands carry a link that has some variation of, "Site Design and Web Hosting by". By doing this we get 3 or 4 crucial keywords into the mix. As Google adds up our links, rest assured it takes notice of the text it can glean from the links themselves. Thus our links do more for us than a banner, or a flash ad, or from only linking the url like this...

    Site Design and Web Hosting by
These Differences may seem subtle, and indeed they are, but the point here is to maximize the return from your efforts. Since you are looking for places for links anyway, look for the ones that help you the most. while you are there asking for these links, ask for the best links that you can have. The keyword here, is Optimization

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